Banipal 69 - 9 New Novels (Autumn/Winter 2020)

Banipal 69 – 9 New Novels
is available as a paperback (ISBN 978-1-913043-17-9)
or as part of a digital or a print subscription

Cover Painting by Mohamed Melehi

A HUGE THANKS to all our contributors, who are still working from home under the continuing coronavirus restrictions



Abdo Wazen: Beirutshima, a poem,
translated by Paul Starkey

Elias Khoury: The City of Strangers,
translated by Humphrey Davies




Hammam al-Dhahab (Bath of Gold)

by Mohammed Eissa al-Mu’adab


Fi ‘ulbat al-dhaw’ (Camera Obscura)

by Rula Jurdi


La Nasbah fi al-Nahr Marratayn

(We never swim in the same River Twice)

by Hassouna Mosbahi

  • The novel, reviewed by William M Hutchins
  • Aziz, a chapter from the novel, translated by William M Hutchins


Junoun al-Ya’s (The Madness of Despair)

by Ghalya Al Said

  • The novel, reviewed by Katia al-Tawil
  • Chapter 1 of the novel, translated by Raphael Cohen


Al-Matmourah (The Buried)

by Shaima al-Watani


Qalb al-Malak al-Aali

(Heart of the Robot Angel)

by Rabia Djelti

  • The novel, reviewed by Sara Slim
  • Chapters from the novel, translated by Sara Slim


Al-Gharaq: Hikayat al-Qahr wal-Wanas (Drowning: Tales of Oppression and Togetherness) by Hammour Ziada


Ma’a al-Ward (Rosewater)

by Noura Mohammad Faraj

  • The novel, reviewed by Katia al-Tawil
  • Two chapters from the novel, translated by Jonathan Wright


Exit (Bab Al-Khuruj)

by Ezzedine Choukri Fishere

  • Ezzedine Choukri Fishere in conversation with Jonathan Smolin
  • An excerpt from the novel, translated by Jonathan Smolin




Four letters to Denys Johnson-Davies from Jabra Ibrahim Jabra



Ghassan Fergiani of Darf Publishers talks to

Valentina Viene about publishing Arabic literature



Shimon Ballas 1930–2019

Yehouda Shenhav-ShahrabaniFarewell to an Arab Jew

Elias KhouryThe Iraqi Jewish outsider



Stephanie Petit: Love is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar

Chip Rossetti: Ice by Sonallah Ibrahim

Hannah Somerville: Mama Hissa’s Mice by Saud Alsanousi

Susannah Tarbush: The Libyan Novel: Humans, Animals and the Poetics of Vulnerability by Charis Olszok

Samira Kawar: ‘Ush al-Jamr (Embers’ Den) by Zuheir al-Hiti




Revolt Against the Sun: The selected Poetry of Nazik al-Malaikah, a bilingual reader

Fugitive Atlas by Khaled Mattawa



Agadir by Mohamed Khaïr-Eddine

Voices of the Lost by Hoda Barakat

My Patchwork Life by Tamara Yousry



A report on the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize Lecture, which took place on 11 November, hosted online by the British Library. It was given by Liana Badr in a web broadcast which viewers were able to watch in either English or Arabic.


PHOTO ALBUM by Samuel Shimon

featuring treasured moments of meeting in Banipal’s long years of opening windows onto the world of contemporary Arab literature.



The translators of this issue are:

Raphael Cohen, Humphrey Davies, William M. Hutchins, Abla Oudeh, Christina Phillips, Chip Rossetti, Sara Slim, Jonathan Smolin, Paul Starkey, Maia Tabet, Jonathan Wright


Remembering a great poet: a treasured photo of Amjad Nasser taken in 2003 during the International Festival of Poetry in Casablanca